June 23, 2007 Subject:
The Peasants War in Germany was the largest popular uprising in European history (besides the French Revolution). Yet most modern history books devote a page or two at most. This is perhaps not surprising since the Peasants War is surrounded by racist, nationalist and socialist scholarship - Friedrich Engels famously wrote about it in 1850 from a Communist/Socialist perspective, and the Nazi's had some special attachment to it for their own agendas - most historians today just give it a brief account in relation to the Reformation.
I wanted to learn more about the specifics of the events - the battles, the people involved, the stories. Although written in 1899, this old fashioned historical narrative written in the tradition of Gibbon is a pleasure to read. For the most part it sticks with a chronological narrative of events, the first chapter has historical interpretations that are largely in-line with modern ones.